Gender balance, a level playing field and more opportunities for women. These and other topics were the theme of a seminar at which the Czech Olympic Committee (Czech NOC) presented an action plan for 2024-2029 focusing specifically on promoting gender equality in sport and its leadership. Not only the official document itself, but also the whole meeting was created under the auspices of the European GAMES project. "Thanks to the GAMES project, we were able to cooperate with international experts and come up with an action plan that might be a bit ambitious, but we want to aim as high as possible. As athletes, we simply have it in us," says Ilona Burgrová, President of the Czech NOC’s Equal Opportunities in Sport Commission.
The topic of gender equality is the subject of much discussion not only on the international scene, but also in this country. "The Czech Olympic Committee has very active both male and female members in the Equal Opportunities in Sport Commission. We see all the activities that would allow women to get involved in the management processes of individual organisations as absolutely necessary. The action plan, which is about creating opportunities so that no discrimination represents an obstacle to the free realization of women, can help to do just that," says Petr Graclík, Secretary General of the Czech NOC.
The action plan that might be a bit ambitious, but we want to aim as high as possible.
The presented document outlines six main objectives, including the creation of a plan to increase the portrayal of women in sport in the media, in social media and in public space, the organisation of educational events on equal leadership, the creation of a pool of female candidates for executive or managerial positions, etc. Its chief authors are the President of the Czech NOC Equal Opportunities in Sport Commission Ilona Burgrová and the Vice-President Denisa Kubová. "The action plan is the result of a careful analysis based on information provided by Czech sports federations, and its final form is the result of Czech and international cooperation and exchange of proven practical experience," describes Burgrová.
The seminar also featured presentations by Folker Hellmund and Carlotta Giussani from the EOC EU Office, I Trust Sport company expert Rowland Jack and the programme was completed with an online presentation by Pedro Diaz, the International Olympic Committee's Gender Equality and Inclusion Manager.
The afternoon was hosted by Alice Němcová Tejkalová, Vice-President of the Equal Opportunities in Sport Commission of the Czech Olympic Committee and a former sports journalist who has long been involved in minority issues. In a panel dedicated to the topic of women in management positions, experts in the field of equal opportunities in sport and representatives of the Czech sporting environment – Jana Havrdová, President of the Czech Chamber of Fitness and Vice President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, Radan Šafařík, Director of the Department of Gender Equality at the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, Radek Špicar, Vice President of the Confederation of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic for Economic Policy and Export, and Olga Plachá, former President of the Czech Equestrian Federation – discussed the topic in length.
The GAMES (Guidance to Achieve More Equal Leadership in Sport)
The project started in spring 2022 and is funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission. It has identified the current situation of women's representation in National Olympic Committees and Federations in the Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Turkey and North Macedonia and has produced an overview of measures and tools that can lead to an increase in the number of women in leadership positions. The key output of each participating country resulted in a specific action plan.